How to Decorate Your Apartment on a Budget


If you’re on a tight budget but have just moved into one of the Denver apartments or an apartment anywhere else, you’ve got a sizable blank space. Hiring an interior designer and spending thousands on decor probably isn’t in the cards. The typical interior designer, on average, will cost you $2,000 to $5,000 and that doesn’t even include the furniture.

Instead, take the DIY route and decorate without spending a lot of money by using these ideas. 

Take Advantage of the Vintage Trend

Vintage is in, which is perfect for decorating on a budget. Shop thrift stores where you can find one-of-a-kind pieces at a bargain price that will also make your space totally unique. Be willing to dig as there are almost always some hidden treasures among the many things you might think should be in a trash pile. Keep in mind, for example, that a chipped container that looks like garbage could actually be an adorable planter or a pen and pencil holder.

In addition to vintage and thrift shops, be sure to check Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. 

Use Mirrors

Apartments can be tiny so if you want to make yours look bigger without spending much, add mirrors. They can make a significant difference and they’re easily found in thrift shops too.

Add Area Rugs

Area rugs are great for anchoring furnishings or defining groupings. With so many different styles and colors, they can change the entire look of your living space. Plus, they come in a wide range of prices making it easy to find something that will fit into your budget. 


You’ll probably need to get permission from your landlord, but painting the interior walls, even if it’s just one room, can create a big change in the look of your space. It’s affordable and a fairly easy DIY project too. The hues you choose can help make your apartment look bigger and brighter, more energizing or calming. To expand your space, choose a palette with sharper colors rather than dull ones, such as yellows, greens, and electric blues. Color combos with negative space in between enhances openness and clarity. To create a peaceful space for rest, consider a soothing grey, seafoam green, or dusty blue in your bedroom.

Curtains Aren’t Just for Windows

Curtains don’t only have to cover windows, you can hang inexpensive curtains (or fabric) on a wall, creating an attractive focal point while adding texture and color. They can even be hung from a ceiling to divide a large area into separate spaces.

Switch Up the Lighting 

While replacing the lighting fixtures in your rental unit is probably not allowed, if you have one that isn’t functional or that’s unattractive, your landlord might agree to it and even reimburse you for doing so. Lighting is a key element in any space, impacting how everything else looks. Even if you can’t change fixtures, you can add lamps to provide task lighting or for a soft glow. Accent lighting to highlight bookcases, cabinets, or art might be possible too.

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